Struggle is a hard thing. A hard and wretched thing that constantly trips us up and pulls us down into the depths of doubt and despair. The path is slow-going, full of potholes and traffic jams, things that tie us down and pull us backward. These things make us have to fight and claw our way forward. It seems a never-ending battle. The quarrels with family and friends, the lack of emotion or contempt we find in relationships, the misguided or ill-spent time and effort on plans that don’t come to fruition. The pains, the anger, the sadness, the tears and fears and struggles seem to rise up out of the dust of the earth and pull on our hearts and minds, trying to drag us down into the dust from which our bodies came. This struggle is not against our own bodies, though, or our hearts. It is against Satan and his power. Paul, in Ephesians 6:12, states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
But where do we find help in this struggle? The psalmist said, in chapter 121, verse 1, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?”
That answer is direct and true in the next verse: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” God is our Hope in struggle, our Strength in trial and tribulation. David, when he was delivered from his struggles with Saul, sang these words, as a reminder to us of our comfort in distress: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior – from violent men you save me.” (2 Samuel 22:2-3) How true do those words ring, especially in our own times of pain and suffering? It is that comfort in our struggle that allows us to go on, free from the burden of hopelessness and fear.
And still we know that these struggles have a purpose and plan, even though we cannot see it. “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3b-4)
So, do not wallow in the pain of struggles, do not become downtrodden in tribulation. Instead, hold your head high and look to heaven, to our Strength and Shield, our Hope and Comfort, our Joy and Peace. God’s Power will overcome even the lowliest of days and the darkest of nights in our lives. Cling to your faith in Christ and the promises of the Gospel. The struggle is just part of the ride. But it doesn’t last. Love does